Can music die? Is jazz dead?
DJ Luna: Yes. House music is dead. What you still hear it in the clubs, you're just hearing a haunting echo of its ghost.
Lolo: I don’t know if it dies or not. I guess it doesn’t die so much as it gets gobbled up and regurgitated as something else. I was about to say that there’ll always be some diehard practitioners who will pass on their knowledge (and diehard listeners), but I just realized I’m writing words of wishful thinking.
I just remembered the first episode of Scorcese’s documentary series on the blues. They were talking about a fife-player who was one of the last of his kind though his grand-daughter was learning. It was tremendously sad; I mean this is music that harkens back to the early days of slavery. That’s when I realized that in a certain sense, music can die. Even if it’s preserved and can be played back, it dies when there’s nobody left who can create it from scratch. And going back to the question of generations, even if a new practitioner comes along 20 years after the fact, the music generated is never what it would have been at the time of its true genesis or heyday. Like remember that swing revival in the mid-1990s or the rockabilly revival of the 1980s? Those nostalgic movements were nothing compared to the real deal, I’m sure.
On the other hand, if a music has an audience, it lives. The heyday of jazz is long gone, but the mantle has been picked up by the Europeans and the Japanese and the Jews. I’m sure there are young black artists here in the states who are keeping it alive, but I wouldn’t know who they are aside from the generation that came of age in the 1980s—the Joshua Redmans and company. If there are any “brothers” (or sisters) younger than that, I don’t know about ‘em, but that’s just me, looking backward.
Patty Boss: Jazz is so not dead. It's the only original American art form. We just think it's dead here in America. In another sense, jazz has not evolved. It's the same that it was decades ago. But let's recognize the gem in our backyard. Music cannot die. It can only rest for centuries at a time.
Sipho: Music only dies when the part of you that music touched dies or goes dormant.
Who/what is your guilty pleasure? Should one ever feel guilty about music enjoyment?
DJ Luna: Frank Sinatra ;)
Lolo: Nobody should ever feel guilty about enjoying music. That’s what it’s there for—to be enjoyed. I admit sometimes I feel a little silly rockin’ my Hall & Oates, but hey, what’s a girl to do when she’s jonesin’ for some blue-eyed soul (which is a totally different animal from soul food people’s soul)? I’ll up the ante and admit to Duncan Sheik, Stone Temple Pilots and Wang Chung’s first album, too.